Look! It’s a Mouse Knaus!

It was still our first year at the house and Paul and I shared the upstairs with him occupying the back bedroom and I the front. The hall between them had a carved out area that anyone else would have deemed storage, but we turned this into a study. I was sitting at my desk in this study, hunched over to avoid hitting my head on the sloped ceiling, when Paul came gliding up the stairs in his general silent but deadly manner. I was deeply engrosed in his ‘Marshall Law: Fear and Loathing’ trade paperback in an effort to become inspired to write a paper for Prof See Minus, and thus paid no attention to his state.

“How….dare…. you…”, he puffed, eking the words out in what I had assumed was exhaustion from climbing the stairs. I looked over, non-plussed as Paul always sounded winded from climing the stairs, and noted that he was trembling from rage or the fact that the house had no insulation whatsoever and it was January. I attempted to raise one eyebrow in query, but as a rule, got them both.

“Hm?”, I shot back in my overly verbose manner.

OK, if I go on like this, inserting my clever commentary each time a halted sentance is uttered or a look is given, this entry will exceed the wordiness of Proust, with hardly a fraction of the interest to the reader, so I’m just going to go ahead and tell you all what happened.

Back in those primative times before blogs, chatrooms and other forms of stating one’s worthless opinion for the world to see and ignore, we had to resort to vandalism. My chosen medium consisted of a Sharpie (before they became ‘cool’) and the study carrols on the 5th floor of Lockwood library. At times I would spawn a thread, but most often only offered the type of blistering sarcasm and ill conceived wisdom only a 21 year old could muster. This may be hard to believe, but at times my words became bound within me like yesterdays cheese, and at such times, I took to writing, “Look! It’s a Mouse Knaus!”, on side of the carrols. You know, just for goofy kicks.

As it so happened, Paul was an unlikely fan of my work, and as such, sought out my latest scribblings whenever he could find them. Having just finishished an inspired piece on how colors might be different for each person (is what I see as blue perhaps what you see as red and such nonsense), his mind blown or hopelessly bored, he looked up and to the left and saw his name staring him dead in the eye. When a dab of spit and his calloused nicotine stained thumb revealed it to be Sharpie of the permenant variety, he promptly lost it.

It’s my understanding that he completely lost it at that point and promptly left the library to make his way back and confront me. From what I gathered as he raved at me, he considered revealing his name publically was tantamount to handing out credit card applications with his name, birthdate and social security number already filled in. I, however, begged to differ. In the course of the discussion it came up that I had written the same exclamation on about 72 other carrols, peppered thoughout the library. This revelation throgh him into a dark and unholy rage, whereupon a vow of tremendous vengance was put forth.

I am man enough to admit that this did put me into a bit of a panic. I had been on the receiving end of much less rage driven vows before and overkill was a quality Knaus reveled in. Those stories will be forthcoming. For the next few weeks, I felt I was under the sword of Damacles without the benefit of being king, and took every opportunity to beg forgiveness. That is right, I begged, and even you with the highest degree of machismo would have done the same. This guy was a little nuts with the revenge stuff.

He started talking to me one evening after grudgingly drinking several of the beers I kept feeding him. Emboldened by liquid courage and after chatting for a few hours, I asked him whatever happened to his revenge plans. All he would say was that he hadn’t thought of anything bad enough yet. It’s been over 15 years and I still sleep with one eye open.

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One Response

  1. You should file this under “Comstock” category as well. Good story.

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